Buying a Volkswagen Jetta: The Perfect Mid-Life Crisis

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I was driving to work in my minivan about 7 years ago when it hit me I wasn't going to grow up and be my mom, a stay-at-home mom. I'm not gonna lie. I wasn't happy about that.

I grew up thinking my life would be exactly like my mom's life. Instead, I found myself 35 years old, working full-time outside the home, traveling all the time for work, working insane hours, struggling to always find a Mary-Poppins-like nanny who would love my kids as much as I did, and attempting to be a stereotypical mom in the hours I had left. And yes! I drove a minivan. Don't all good moms drive minivans? I think I thought if I had a minivan, it would make up for all the hours I wasn't home and would turn me into a "normal" mom.

As much as that car was comfortable, it sat empty in my company's or the airport's long-term parking lot with its excess space intended to tote kids to carpool and soccer and was a constant reminder of the traditional mom I wasn't.

And that's when I had it... my mid-life crisis, or the large dose of reality that caused me to realize and then accept that I wasn't my mom and should own my life. But, accepting that meant losing the minivan. I needed a car that got great gas mileage, was zippy, had character, had some luxuries without being overly pricey, and had a great stereo system for my daily commute. Enter Volkswagen Jetta into the picture.

My sister had bought a Jetta, pimped it out, and then moved on to a BMW. She was ready to sell. I was ready to buy. She gave me a great deal. And I got a car with character at a great price. Not only that, but with all the details Volkswagen is known for—style and luxuries like heated seats, a sun roof, a ridiculously awesome stereo system, super comfy seats, lots of space in the trunk, great gas mileage, and the definition of zippy. Best. Midlife. Crisis. Ever!

Between that time and now, things changed. My kids grew older and started karate lessons and art classes, I started working from home, and we needed a bigger car. Goodbye zippy Jetta.

I dream from time to time of the day when I'll need a smaller car again and think back to weaving in and out of traffic on the freeway with my favorite music blaring and fun friends along for the ride.

Between now and then, I am happy to test drive new Jettas, CCs, Golfs, and Touregs, especially when I get to do it on Skyline Boulevard outside of San Francisco with friends like Monica and Leticia from Wired Momma and Tech Savvy Mama. Want to see the definition of beautiful while putting the pedal to the medal? Check out these beauties!

In the driver's seat, I immediately transformed from structured working Jyl to windows rolled down, spontaneous Jyl. Check out Monica. I may have been the breaking-into-the-artichoke-farm ring leader. Shhhhh!

And here we may have been in a "no vehicles allowed" zone along scenic highways.

There's nothing like a quick roadtrip down highway 1 in a newer-than-new, decked out Volkswagen to help you remember some of the most meaningful moments of life... friends, beauty, fun, and taking time to stop and smell the roses... that is if you're not speeding by them in a brand new car with the music blaring and laughter enveloping you.

I don't think I've seen the last of Volkswagens in my garage. Hopefully, I'll get another one before my 11-year-old son, who is already asking for a CC. What?

What car defines you? If you could get a new car right now, what would it be and why?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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